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ESTABLISHED 1991
EVERY MONDAY
�50
?How can you
ever love a beast
like me?.?
MARCH 13?19, 2017 NO.1247
A HAND UP NOT A HANDOUT
?Build me a
library, sunshine,
and I?m yours
forever?
Brain tickling
with
EMMA WATSON
& DAN STEVENS
S
PLU
INTERVIEW
Why they support
The Big Issue Literacy campaign
YOUR MUM IS
S
NO.1
Make her Mother?ss
Day spectacular
Bigissueshop.com
m
vk.com/stopthepress
FRESH MAGAZINES EVERYDAY
?????? ??????? ?? ?????????? ????? ? ??????
VK.COM/STOPTHEPRESS
CONTENTS
EST. 1991
Liam.
MARCH 13-19 2017
NO. 1247
I like it in Sketty.. Along the coast there
ws up to Swansea Bay
are amazing view
I went on
or down to Port Talbot.
T
myheritage.com and discovered
I had a cousin in Wales. I got in
touch through acebook a d
photos.
we?ve sent each other
o
I?d like to try to
work out more
e.
of the family tree
y
Read more of my
story on page 46.
THE BIG ISSUE MANIFESTO
WE BELIEVE in a hand up, not a handout...
Which is why our sellers BUY every copy of the
magazine for �25 and sell it for �50.
WE BELIEVE in trade, not aid?
Which is why we ask you to ALWAYS take your
copy of the magazine. Our sellers are working
and need your custom.
WE BELIEVE poverty is indiscriminate?
Which is why we provide ANYONE whose life
is blighted by poverty with the opportunity to
earn a LEGITIMATE income.
Photo: David Grifen
WE BELIEVE in the right to citizenship?
Which is why The Big Issue Foundation, our
charitable arm, helps sellers tackle social and
?nancial exclusion.
WE BELIEVE in prevention?
Which is why Big Issue Invest ofers backing
and investments to social enterprises, charities
and businesses which deliver social value
to communities.
REGULARS
CORRESPONDENCE 4
EDITOR & NEWS 6
STREET ART 8
JOHN BIRD 11
COMMENT 12
Damian Barr
PAUSE 15
LETTER TO MY
YOUNGER SELF 16
WASTE NOT WANT NOT 18
Beat the housing crisis: build a home out of rubbish
IT?S NOT A FAIRYTALE 20
Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, stars of new Disney
?lm Beauty and the Beast, back our literacy campaign
YOU?VE GOT THE POWER 25
Creating strong communities with alternative energy
DON?T KILL THE COMPETITION 27
A ?simpol? solution to make globalisation fairer
Ralf Little
HARRY HILL?S ALIEN INVASION 28
WIN!
THE LIGHT
BETWEEN
OCEANS
ON DVD
TURN TO
PAGE 44
Doctor turned comedian is still savingg p
people
p
THE ENLIGHTENMENT
BOOKS 32
FILM 35
TV, EVENTS & MUSIC 36
SPOT THE BALL 45
THE BIG ISSUE / p3 / March 13-19 2017
CORRESPONDENCE
Write to: The Big Issue, Second Floor, 43 Bath St, Glasgow, G2 1HW
Email: letters@bigissue.com Comment: bigissue.com
@bigissueuk
facebook.com/bigissueUK
In the good books
I?m getting in touch to say
how much I support your
campaign to keep libraries
open and at the heart of the
communities they serve. I think
they?re essential, especially for
those on low incomes who can?t
aford to buy books and for the
free internet access.�(It?s on a
library PC that I?ve written
this.)� They might seem an easy
target for cuts but we all sufer
when that happens. Keep up
the good work, and to all your
readers I say ? use your library!
Ian Anderson, Elgin
Back in the late 1960s I did
my school homework in my
town library (Barnsley, South
Yorkshire) which was small,
uncomfortable and very quiet
? or else! Without it I would not
have been able to concentrate at
home, which was noisy, and my
own room was cold. The library
still in my view is a local centre
for people to gather as well as
read or borrow books.
Chris White, Norfolk
The central library in Exeter
is brilliant but the lower-paid
staf have been asked to take a
pay cut or lose their jobs whilst
the senior staf lose nothing.
@bigissue
Celebrating vendors
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
My library props me
up in hard times
So glad you are campaigning on literacy and libraries.
Over the last year my library has been absolutely
vital for me. I?ve spent most of the year in bed due
to cancer, with weekly trips into town to stock up on
food and library books ? I get through a book every two
or three days right now. Also, as I am too weak to spend a lot of
time on my feet browsing, I hugely appreciate that I can browse
their online catalogue at home, order what I want, then just pop
in to collect them. Or in desperation borrow ebooks instead,
though I prefer paper copies.
I?ve held a library ticket since before I can remember,
and I?d be lost without it.
Sylvia Rose, email
A suggestion that all staf take
a proportional pay cut was
rejected! Libraries Unlimited
had promised not to reduce
pay and conditions less than a
year ago ? HOW can they break
their promises at the expense of
the lowest paid and get away
with it? Snollygostering
Conservatives have set a very
bad example.
Sarah Wilkins, email
Rock bottom
Interesting article from John
Bird [March 6-12]. The amount
of seaside former resort towns
in the UK that have fallen into
ruin over the years is a terrible
shame. These towns were once
the destination of choice for
family days out but now they
are rundown, dirty eyesores.
While the towns talk about
wanting to return to past
glories I think they have to
realise that people?s holiday
habits over the years have
changed and perhaps the way
to rescue the town is
to bring in new employment
rather than more shops selling
kiss-me-quick hats and rock.
Owen Hollifield, Bargoed
STREET CAT BOB & OTHER
SUPER FURRY ANIMALS
[Re: Hero Pets, March 6-12] When I was six years old, I
experienced my ?rst bereavement. My maternal grandfather
had passed away following a very short battle with aggressive
stage four oesophageal cancer. Before he passed, he told my
parents to ?nd me something that I would be able to look after,
love and remember him by, so they got my cat Bubbles.
He was the most beautiful and amazing little creature you
could ever imagine! He helped me through my grief and
encouraged me to become the person that I am today. People
underestimate animals but they have healing powers that you can
only imagine. They are the most efective form of counsellors you
can have. Kirsty Louise Bell, Pontypridd
@NiaLiversuch
@BigIssue So moved by the heartfelt stories of pets? loyalty
to their owners in this week?s issue. #heropets exist
everywhere! #ilovepets
Mikey
@gemmadayphoto
Just bought new copy
of @BigIssue had nice
chat in sunshine about Bob
and whether he might be a
diva now great cover by
@lhschiefer
Duke
@Daf_FJ
Mikey and Duke
#MyHeroPet
supporting the amazing
@BigIssue ? go buy a copy
and help the homeless
THE BIG ISSUE / p4 / March 13-19 2017
Mikey
I want to say how great vendor
Tiberiu Manea is, who works
at Seven Sisters tube station
in Haringey.
He?s always smiling and says
good morning to everyone and
rushes to help people who have
suitcases or buggies to get down
the stairs to the tube.
This morning he was
handing out white roses to
women in aid of International
Women?s Day. He has been
mentioned in The Big Issue
before brie?y and really
deserves the recognition. He
brightens up a lot of people?s day.
Rebecca, email
Eddie
@DomWilliamson13
Eddie is #MyHeroPet
(and a Bob lookylikey)
NEWS
THE EDITOR
TRIBUTES FOR
PIONEER RAVE
Doughnut lose
track of what?s
going on
other reasons but we don?t have
that much time here.
During the campaign she
managed to be so divisive that
moderate Catholic voters, who
previously would have plumped
for the centrist moderates of the
SDLP (Northern Ireland LOVES
acronyms), went for Sinn Fein.
While many outside Northern
Ireland still view Sinn Fein as
the party of murders committed
by the IRA, the dial has shifted
where the votes are. Sinn Fein is
now the constitutional voice for
the overwhelming majority of
nationalists in Northern Ireland.
They have 27 seats in the
Assembly to the DUP?s 28.
And when people have crossed
the Rubicon to vote Sinn Fein,
they are unlikely to step back.
So a new reality grows in
which a party who will look for a
United Ireland hold the whip
hand. Throw in anxiousness
about the closing of a border that
has become almost unseen in
places, and a birth rate that
means those who favour retaining a union with Great Britain
decline in numbers, and it looks
like there is only one endgame.
In Scotland a second referendum is looking likely. The will
she/won?t she guessing game
around Nicola Sturgeon changed
dynamic last week. A new poll
said it was 50/50 for independence. At the same time, North
Sea oil tax receipts fell off the
cliff ? from several billion to
around �0m this year. Despite
this ?nancial chasm, and despite
the fact the SNP government
have problems in the day-to-day
of running a country efectively,
the desire for self-determination
is not diminishing.
While focus is elsewhere, fundamental cracks are appearing
in the bedrock, and the tectonic
plates under the Union are
moving, probably irrevocably.
Doughnuts won?t be enough
to get Britain through this.
BSME British editor of the Year 2016
@pauldmcnamee
FROM THE VAULT...
Illustration: Lauren Crow / Photo: Rex Features
I
n The Simpsons it?s doughnuts. Regardless of how
Homer is engaged, the sight
or a sugary sniff will hook him.
It?s instinctive, Pavlovian.
Brexit is our doughnut. No
matter what is happening elsewhere, the mere mention of it
diverts us and sends us into a
lather. While this has bene?ts ?
Brexit will decide our future, and
our children?s futures and their
children?s ? there are other
things going on. And if we don?t
pay attention, those other things
will evolve until they present
themselves in ways that shock.
Their power to alter how we live
is every bit as potent as Brexit.
At present, it?s Scotland and
Northern Ireland ? the loud
celtic fringe, always agitating,
never happy with their lot. Best
turn the volume down, let them
argue amongst themselves while
other things go on.
Best not.
Last week there was a seismic
change in Northern Ireland. Yet,
you wouldn?t really know it
unless you were following their
local news. Which, I suppose, is
?ne. Northern Ireland has been
making noise and causing
damage well beyond its range for
a long time.
But now, for the first time
ever, Unionists don?t have an
overall majority in government.
The relevance can?t be overstated. Northern Ireland is less a
state, more a convenient holding
pattern. It was established in
1921 to bring an end to a bloody
war of independence, and the
pro-union political class has
been running things since.
So, why does this matter
across the Irish Sea? Because
suddenly the idea of a United
Ireland is no longer an intellectual and ideological argument ?
it could happen, and soon.
The NI election came about
because the First Minister and
leader of the main unionist
party, Arlene Foster of the DUP,
was embroiled in a scandal over
heating subsidies. There are
THE BIG ISSUE / p6 / March 13-19 2017
MARCH 15-21 1999 NO.326
Blur icon Damon Albarn talks
about the breakdown of his eightyear relationship with Elastica
singer Justine Frischmann, which
he says has left him a ?recovering
romantic?. We also investigate
how the selling of of council
homes is creating warring factions
on England?s estates.
FAREWELL, OUR
OLD FRIEND
STREET PAPER
N
R
aven Canon was a woman who set out to
change the world. Although she had no home
and was sleeping rough, she was so incensed
by draconian new anti-homelessness laws in her
hometown of Colorado Springs, USA, she set up a Big
Issue-style street paper to give people on the margins
visibility, a voice and a legitimate income. The first
issues of The Springs Echo went on sale in January,
and Raven received international praise for her
supreme eforts. But last week the tragic news broke
that Raven had passed away. After a night sleeping
rough in sub-zero temperatures she was found dead,
wrapped in a blanket. A rising star in her community
and editor-in-chief of the world?s newest street paper,
Raven was at least the ninth person to die on
Colorado Springs streets this winter, activists say.
Such tragedies have played out in Britain too. In the
space of one month in December-January four rough
sleepers were found dead on the streets. Charity Crisis
estimates one in three young people seeking help with
housing is turned away by councils in England.
As the world prepares to bid a
final farewell to pop star
George Michael, a much-loved
friend and long-time supporter
of The Big Issue, a coroner has
con?rmed his tragic death was
from natural causes.
The former Wham! supers t a r, w h o g a v e
several candid and
exclusive interviews
to The Big Issue over
the yea rs, passed
away at his home in
Oxfordshire on
Christmas Day as a
result of heart and
l i v er d i s e a s e . H i s
funeral will be a private
family ceremony.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING...
More than 300 people brought light to
the streets of London after dark, taking
part in The Big Issue Foundation?s
legendary Big Night Walk. Following a
20-kilometre route through the city, setting
of at 9pm from St John?s Church Waterloo, the night walkers were
encouraged on their way by a special visit from Big Issue cover star
Street Cat Bob and motivational speeches by former vendors. Their
eforts raised an impressive �,000 in sponsorship.
?DESTRUCTIVE? CUTS WILL
FORCE TEENS ON THE STREET
Homeless charities have
attacked plans in the Budget
that could leave as many as
9,000 young people homeless
as being ?destructive?.
Housing benefit cuts for 18
to 21-year-olds threaten to
remove a vital safety net for
young people who cannot live
in their family home. Paul
Noblet, head of public afairs for
Centrepoint, welcomed the
Homelessness Reduction Bill
but warned that it could be
undermined by the bene?t cut,
ON BIGISSUE.COM THIS WEEK...
A HAND UP, NOT A
HANDOUT
?
JAMES AND BOB and your life-saving pets
?
SIR CHRIS HOY wheely loves our literacy
campaign
?
DIGGING for Britain?s youth at a
pioneering farm
?Throwing money
at someone
without looking
at them is not a
Christian gesture?
Show mum you love her with a Mother?s Day gift
from The Big Issue shop: bigissueshop.com
saying: ?It could both cost the
taxpayer more money than it
saves and force more young
people into homelessness.?
Jon Sparkes, chief executive
of Crisis, added: ?Even at this
eleventh hour, we urge the
government not to continue
with this destructive policy.?
Big Issue founder John Bird
has backed the Homelessness
Reduction Bill?s preventative
ef for t s, wh ich w i l l force
councils to help people before
they become homeless.
In next week?s Big Issue Pope Francis says we must open our
doors ? and minds ? to people on the margins.
p7 / March 13-19 2017
BUY
STREET ART!
You can buy prints of some
artworks featured in Street Art
through The Big Issue Shop.
At least half of the profit from
each sale goes to the artist.
Order at
bigissueshop.com
STREET ART
W
S
VALENTINE?S
GLADE
UNTITLED
BY STEPHEN MUNDY
?I created this image just before I was due to be
released from HMP Lewes, Sussex, after serving
two years of a four-year prison sentence,? says
Stephen. ?While I was in prison I was given the
choice of the workshop or education ?
I chose education. Practising art was a real
benefit to my mental health. I applied to college
on release but didn?t have anywhere to live.
That?s where this piece of art fits in ? boardedup houses, a man with a rucksack scratching
his head, thinking, where to now? Luckily, since
release I have been in temporary, supported
housing and I?m doing well at college.?
BY CHRISTIE CASSISA
Christie comes from an abusive
childhood and as an adult has
had problems with depression,
alcohol and drug abuse and
homelessness. Three years ago
she had a breakdown and had
to stay in a mental hospital for a
week. ?Centrepieces and The Big
Issue have been the two biggest
supporters since then,? she says.
?Both have given me courage to
keep on painting, and to continue
to understand the issues in my past,
as well as my present life.
?I feel optimistic about the
future, as I get so much peace and
joy from painting, but Centrepieces
and The Big Issue have also shown
me that there is worth in what I do,
and in who I am.?
Street Art is created by people who are marginalised by issues like homelessness, disability and mental health conditions.
Contact streetlights@bigissue.com to see your art here.
THE BIG ISSUE / p8 / March 13-19 2017
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design-led products made by
adults referred through mental
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Luxurious, beautifully packaged
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Fikay Eco Fashion ? Red
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Kind to the planet and ethically
stafed, Fikay up-cycles used
cement bags from Cambodia into
fabulous, striking accessories.
YOUR MUM
IS NUMBER 1
TREAT HER WITH A SOCIAL
GIFT THIS MOTHER?S DAY
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This necklace is made from rolled
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A stylish and sustainable gift,
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bigissueshop.com
Registered charity number: 292506
JOHN BIRD
Pick up a sketch pad
and you?ll see what?s
really in front of you
Illustration: Lauren Crow
L
ast week a hand was put into
my overcoat pocket as I got
on the Metro. The man was
inept. I pushed the hand
away and he got back of the
Metro. As I looked back, his
face was more of a snarl than a look.
I have always found it diicult to draw
faces. Because they have everything in
them. History, geography, love, hate,
emptiness, sufering; joy. Every year they
have the BP National Portrait Gallery
competition I look at the prize-winners and
am determined to try myself the next year.
But it doesn?t happen. And I limp through
another year painting and
drawing trees and naked
women, pot plants and
interiors.
That is not to say that I
haven?t at times caught
an expression or feeling.
They, though, are normally
sketches, quick and rapid.
One drawing springs to mind
of my eldest son at about
12, contemplating nothing
in particular but caught
suddenly.
Once in a public library I
opened a book on the works
of James Ensor and almost
wet myself hysterically.
A drawing showing a
weather-beaten old man
with his feet up on a pot stove
made me laugh. He seemed
to have such a face full of humour and
questioning; as if he was summing up the
whole mad trip of a life he had gone through.
As if he knew life largely was a play on the
theme of insanity.
But it is surprising how few paintings
do show up the enigma of a lived life, as
shown on a face. Rembrandt is considered
to be the master of the considered face.
But I have a problem with him. Rembrandt
is such a great master and his painting so
profound that I look at his faces and can?t
feel a thing. I can see a lot but don?t live a
lot in front of the painting.
My next personal project, away from the
struggle to penetrate into the madness of
the current world and change it, will be a
brilliant portrait. Or certainly an attempt
at brilliance. Certainly there are some great
faces out there. For instance, as I sat
waiting for a train last week, along the
platform came a slow-moving man. He had
a little briefcase which he held under his
arm. He had grim determination, probably
overcoming mobility problems. And his
face was so resolute it was one occasion
when I wished I could capture that
determined look.
The look of him was heroic and longsufering. How the hell do you capture that?
A detail of The Intrigue (1890) by James Ensor
?The man on the
Metro was telling
a story with his
face. Thirty years
of emptiness,
rejection and
su?ering?
THE BIG ISSUE / p11 / March 13-19 2017
The man on the Paris Metro though was
telling a different story with his face.
I would not have wanted to capture his
probably 30 years of emptiness, rejection,
sufering, self-indulgence ? I hazard a guess
here ? in something like a drawing. I looked
at all the things that seemingly had gone
wrong, were going wrong, in his life and
wished it was not like that.
It is 50 years ago this year that as a
21-year-old in trouble with the police and
courts that I skipped to Paris on the night
train. Twelve hours from London to Gare
du Nord. And was there transformed from
my pig-ignorant racism into a Marxist
Internationalist, a revolutionary. Transformed from
hating to trying to love the
world. Or change it so that it
could become more lovable.
Paris has changed since
those days. As with most
cities. Unless you were in a
poor area you did not see the
poor in the city centres. Paris
now seems full of people
with time on their hands and
little of the means to do
anything about it. On the
Metro it seemed as if most of
the faces were troubled.
What seems to have
happened in those 50 years
in many cities, not just Paris,
is that unhappiness has
become public. As if what?s
going wrong with society is
played out before our eyes.
Of course if some bloke hadn?t put his
hand into my overcoat 10 minutes after
arriving by Eurostar and I had been
embraced as I was 50 years ago then I
might not have noticed the defeat that is
so public in our modern lives.
I recommend drawing to everyone.
I believe it helps you to think beyond the
appearance of things. And live in hope.
John Bird is the founder and Editor in Chief
of The Big Issue. @johnbirdswords
john.bird@bigissue.com
DAMIAN BARR
I?m outing Disney:
where are all
the positive gay
characters?
M
irror, mirror on
the wall who is the
queerest of them all?
The lisping Scar
in The Lion King,
the magenta-clad
Governor Ratcliffe in Pocahontas or
the divine Ursula in The Little Mermaid?
Disney has been churning out LGBTQI
characters since a little boy skunk came
nose to nose with Bambi, fluttered his
eyelids and declared: ?He can call me Flower
if he wants to.? But we are almost always
the villains and, while ?amingly obvious,
never actually out. It?s up to us to get the
nod and the wink and feel that rush of
recognition or, more likely, ?ush of shame.
After all, better to be a baddie than to be
invisible, to have some magic powers, even
if you do use them to stop a mermaid singing.
Until now. Well, sort of.
Russia is threatening to ban Disney?s
live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast,
starring Emma Watson, because it features
what director Bill Condon calls ?an exclusively gay moment?. No spoilers but there?s
no big gay wedding, not even a kiss.
It?s simply the crush that chubby LeFou
has on suave villain Gaston (below).
Nevertheless, Russian culture minister
Vladimir Medinsky is assessing whether
this violates their law prohibiting material ?advocating for a denial of traditional
family values?. Apparently, the official
presidential calendar ? featuring a
divorced Putin topless and flexing his
pecs while brandishing his big ?shing rod
? doesn?t count as gay propaganda.
Predictably, cinemas in the US have
joined the censorial orgy including the
Henagar Drive-In in Alabama whose
owner said: ?If I can?t sit through
a movie with God or Jesus sitting
by me then we have no business
showing it.?
And all because Disney has
remade a villainous buffoon
originally coded as gay into an
obviously gay but still villainous
bufoon who talks to a teapot.
Nobody seems bothered by
Belle falling in love
with a monstrous talking bufalo. I want
to support Beauty and the Beast simply on
the basis that anything that?s bad for Russia
is probably good for me. I want to applaud
Disney for finally acknowledging that
many of the little boys and girls sitting in
the dark with magic flickering across
their faces might have diferent dreams.
Some progress is indeed better than none
? Gaston is played by Luke Evans, a rare
out leading man. But why, in the moment
of Moonlight, should we be grateful for such
cultural crumbs?
Disney is ?ne with ?ying elephants,
magical mice, talking candlesticks,
soothsaying mirrors, ticking crocodiles,
chim-chim-inees, chatty dalmations,
?ying beds and a puppet who longs to be
a real boy. But in almost a century of
making ?lms and shaping our very idea of
childhood they?ve portrayed nothing so
extraordinary, so fantastical as a real fairy.
Gary Marsh, president and chief creative
oicer for Disney Channels Worldwide,
has said it [sexuality] is ?for the audience
to interpret?.
Scar, the lion who would be king, is
skinnier and weaker than his older brother
Mufasa. His voice soars into soprano away
from his brother?s honeyed bass. He rolls
his eyes, checks his claws more often than
a drag queen and purrs ?oh I shall practise
my curtsey? before slinking of. ?There?s
one in every family ? two in mine,
actually ? and they always manage to ruin
special occasions,? chirps Zazu the bird.
How else to interpret this? Femme is bad
and bad is femme. Ursula the Seawitch
is, ironically, modelled on Divine, the
plus-size dog-shit eating drag
muse of John Waters. She?s a
gravelly voiced predator,
a butch lesbian with wandering tentacles. Butch is
also bad but only if you?re
supposed to be femme.
Is all this really important? Yes, when two in ?ve
young LGBT people have
attempted or considered suicide
because of bullying and the same
number self-harm. It?s as vital as
UE / p12 / March 13-19 2017
compulsory secular sex education in
schools. The silver screen is a mirror upon
which we all long to see ourselves. And not
as jokes at best or baddies at worst.
?There is no doubt that kids seeing
positively portrayed gay characters
could have a signi?cant efect that would
contribute to such children?s learning
about the world and who is in it,? says
Edward Schiappa, a professor of comparative media studies at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology.
Sarah Kate Ellis, from GLAAD, said of
Beauty and the Beast: ?It?s a wonderful step
forward. More and more, as studios want
to appeal to youth audiences, they?re going
to have to include LGBTQ storylines and
characters.?
Imagine if Disney listened to the massive
Twitter campaign #GiveElsaAGirlfriend
for the Frozen sequel. You?re thinking
Disney can?t get any gayer than Let It Go:
?Conceal don?t feel, don?t let them know/
Well now they know!? But they can and
they must.
Elsa?s message of self-actualisation
speaks loudly to the LGBT community.
Every June, since 1991, LGBT people have
taken over Disney Orlando. Around
150,000 LGBT people, families, friends and
supporters attend the six-day gathering.
Attendees, all in red T-shirts, reclaim their
childhoods and just generally love rollercoasters. Disney takes their dollars but
won?t make it an official event. This
summer, Magical Pride will happen at
DisneyLand Paris as part of their 25th
birthday ? sanctioning this would be smart
and signi?cant.
A joyful lesbian princess would be
totally on-brand for Disney whose central
message has always been: be yourself,
be brave, make your own happy ending.
If Belle can get her bufalo surely Elsa
can get her girl. All we want is a bisexual
candlestick, a lesbian teapot, a trans
teacup. Come on Disney, be our guest.
See page 20 for our interview with Beauty and
the Beast stars Emma Watson and Dan Stevens.
Damian Barr is an author and Big Issue
columnist. @Damian_Barr
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PAUSE
JESSICA COON
The cosmic truth of language
I
f aliens arrived tomorrow,
linguists might be the ?rst
ones called up by the government now that Arrival has
come out. The ?lm draws on the
Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, the
idea that the language you
speak determines how we view
the world. A lot of people find
this idea compelling but there
has not been any scientific
evidence that speaking a certain
language affects how we think
in any meaningful way.
There are more than 6,000
languages spoken in the world
today and we don?t know much
about most of them ? they don?t
have written grammars or dictionaries. Languages can sound
very diferent from one another,
and we know from trying to
learn foreign languages as an
adult that grammar can be diferent but the variations tend to
be very constrained. Human explicitly taught them. Every
languages share certain
tain
healthy child who is exposed
properties and core princa suffficient amount to a
iples. ?Universal gramm
mar?
uage is going to learn
langu
is what linguists call the
t
thatt language, which is
human capacity for
pretty remarkable when
lang uage; we come
yyou think about it.
ha rdw ired w ith
Beyond the words
certain elements of
t hey ?re lea r n i ng ,
language already in Jessica Coon
which might vary a
place. It seems like is Associate
lot from language to
c h i ld r en a r e not Professor爄n
language, another
learning a language the Department
question is: how are
from scratch ? they of Linguistics
they learning the
at燤cGill
have a head start.
grammar and doing
Anybody who has University and
more complicated
interacted with little was an adviser
things like forming
kids know they are on Arrival, which
questions?
not good at doing all is out March 20 on
Little kids make
kinds of things ? Blu-ray, DVD and
a lot of mistakes,
tying their shoelaces, digital download
and they are often
dressing themselves
very funny-sounding
? and yet they are already mistakes but what is amazing is
sta r ting to form complex that kids all over the world
sentences that adults haven?t learning different languages
THE BIG ISSUE / p15 / March 13-19 2017
m a ke t he sa me k i nd s of
mistakes in the same developmental periods. The mistakes
are not random and they teach
us how grammar develops in
the brain.
It is predicted that 90 per
cent of the 6,000 languages
spoken in the world today will
have been lost by the end of the
century. For the speakers of the
language it is a huge loss, not
because they cannot learn
another language but because it
often carries cultural information and a lot of our identity is
tied up in being part of a group
of speakers of a language. There
is a lot at stake. In the same way
that a loss of a plant or animal
species is a loss for biology and
ecology, the loss of any language
means we might be losing an
important piece of the puzzle
about how languages work.
LETTER TO MY YOUNGER SELF
Ralf Little
Photos: Alex Bramall / Rex Features
A
Acting Roylety
t 16 I was very small for my age.
It was a real shame for me because
I thought that when I grew up I was
going to be really muscular and
well-built. Then I grew about a
foot in a year but I didn?t get any
wider. I was a six-foot beanpole
with that curtains hairstyle that everyone had in the
late ?90s. So that was really disappointing.
I had loads of interests, mostly sporty, when I
was 16. But none of them competed with my main
one ? I was obsessive about girls. I had this great ability to chat to any girl, make them laugh ? and we?d be
getting on brilliantly and she?d say, ?Oh, you?re such a
good listener! Well, you know your mate Paul??. I was
the small funny guy who made girls laugh, then they?d
ask if I could set them up with my taller, betterlooking mates. That would happen all the fucking
time. It was devastating. No one ever fancied me.
I loved playing football so much when I was 16.
If there was ?ve minutes before the bell I?d leg it to the
playground to see if there was anyone kicking a ball
around. I could happily play for ?ve hours at a time.
Did it hit me one day that I was never going to play for
my country? No, not really. I?m only 37 and I still feel
there?s a glimmer of a chance. To this day I?ll watch
someone like Harry Kane and think, yeah, when I grow
up? Like I?m a boy watching men. Then I realise ?
these players are literally 20 years younger than me.
That totally boils my mind. I keep waiting for this
grown-up wisdom to settle on my shoulders but I?m
beginning to realise it?s never going to happen.
The week I started medical school was the
week they showed the first Royle Family episode.
I?d been getting about one job a year through the
agency my local drama group set up but I never ever
thought I?d do acting as a career. I?d already taken my
exams when I did my audition for Caroline [Aherne]
and Craig [Cash] ? I thought I was shit ? then by the
time I got home they?d phoned to say they wanted me.
I now know that was the day that my life changed but I
had no idea at the time. My agent started getting a few
calls a week, then three or four calls every day, saying
?Who is this kid?? I wasn?t sure what to do. I was
becoming a doctor, which was what I?d always wanted
? but can you imagine how much fun it would be being
an actor all the time? I decided to take the gamble and
after four weeks at medical school I dropped out.
My mum was padding around on the landing
while I read the script for The Royle Family in my
bedroom and when I finished she said, I didn?t
hear you laughing much. And I said, well it?s weird ?
it?s hilarious but there?s no jokes. I remember sitting
round the table at the read-through. I did wonder if
people were going to get this comedy show with no
jokes, people doing nothing, with Bobby and Sheila
Grant from Brookside starring in it. And then? maybe
I?m making this up but I remember when Ricky
Tomlinson started reading I was overcome with this
thought ? God, this could be something really special.
Antony Royle was a sloucher. I?ve always been a
bit of a sloucher myself but with Antony my chin was
almost buried into my chest. It just felt right. Another
From the top: Ralf among
The Royle Family cast (from
left) Caroline Aherne, Craig
Cash, Ricky Tomlinson and
Sue Johnston; with Sheridan
Smith in Two Pints of Lager
and a Packet of Crisps;
playing in a charity match
for the Rio Ferdinand AllStars against Paul McStay?s
Maestros at Celtic Park, 2014
IN 1996
THE YEAR
RALF LITTLE
TURNS 16?
Cloned sheep
Dolly is born /
The Spice Girls
release their debut
single, Wannabe
thing I was quite proud of ? a scene with Antony ?nishing of making the tea. It occurred to me it might be
funny, to show how used he was to doing this, if he had
six cups lined up like they were in a production line,
and he was just dropping in the sugar, pouring the milk.
To have that little idea, and for those guys to put it in
the ?nal cut, you just thought, wow, how lucky I am.
At 16 I was probably better with adults than I
was with my own peers. I think the reason ? well,
my mates might say it was because I was a dickhead.
But I think looking back it?s because it?s not cool as a
teenager to be chatty and ebullient. Teenagers like to
be aloof and chilled. I was excitable, mischievous.
I used to walk away from encounters with adults and
they?d be saying, what a con?dent young man! They
were probably also saying, his poor parents, it must
be exhausting. And all my mates were saying, for
God?s sake, shut up.
The thing that would excite my teenage self
most about his future ? I hate to be so blunt about
it ? but once I was on TV suddenly there were girls
everywhere. I?d probably say to younger Ralf ? mate,
don?t get carried away. But as well as that; watching
The Usual Suspects when I was a teenager, then working with Kevin Spacey in 2006 [for the ?lm Telstar].
Playing football with Zidane. Being onstage with my
boyhood hero Ryan Giggs at his testimonial doing
Rapper?s Delight, which Ryan knows all the words to.
I mean, walking onstage with the rest of the guys from
The Royle Family to get a Bafta. Insane. Yet at the time
it just felt like, yeah, we?ve made this brilliant show, so
now we?ll win a Bafta. We?ll just nip down to London
and pick it up. It seemed quite normal at the time.
And actually, I wish it hadn?t. I wish I had realised how
astonishing it all was. I?d say to my younger self ? mate,
this doesn?t happen all the time. Savour it. You should
be walking around starry-eyed, unable to take it in.
If I could go back, I?d love to talk more with my
grandfather. He died when I was 14, and I didn?t see
him much any more because when you?re 14 you?re
busy doing other things. I feel like he was an extremely
? I was going to say a simple soul but that?s not right.
He was ?ercely intelligent but just a big, gentle, kind
man who ?xed your bike, took you on walks, tickled
you. A friend who was just always there in a very
understated way. I loved him of course but when I
look back I see this quiet steadiness I realise I didn?t
notice at the time.
I would like to be a dad. I had a practice run
with my brother, who was 10 years younger than me.
I remember thinking, when my mum told me she was
pregnant, how nice that he?s being born now, when I
can appreciate him, ?cause I?m a grown up. At 10 years
old. I think I?m very good with kids, hanging out with
them. But? I don?t have any. That I know of, ha ha ha.
It?s never quite worked out yet, ?nding the right
person to settle down with. I would very much like it
but I?m starting to have this creeping feeling that, oh,
it might never happen.
Ralf Little stars in Ugly Lies the Bone, which runs at the
National Theatre until June 6; nationaltheatre.org.uk
Words: Jane Graham @Janeannie
THE BIG ISSUE / p16 / March 13-19 2017
?I?m starting to have this
creeping feeling I might
never be a father?
THE BIG ISSUE / p17 / March 13-19 2017
THIS MAN IS HAPPY
BECAUSE HE?S GOT
A RUBBISH HOUSE
Britain is in the gr
risis, with a
chronic lack of aff
dation and
spiralling rent. But one man has come up with a
solution that is literally rubbish.
Angus Carnie, 55, built a one-bedroom cabin in his
native Carno
, from waste desti
for landfill. T
f ?logs? manufact
from compr
stic. The foundat
are built wit
ed sheets turned
blocks. The cabin is insulated with photocopier toner
cartridges shredded into fibre, with the ink used to
paint it. Waterproof, light and durable plasterboard
is manufactured from waste plastic.
?Everything used to be something
says. ?I was particularly keen to use m
were going to end up in landfill or be d
expensive manner.?
?I wanted to create a social home,? he
?It?s very diicult in certain parts of the countr
get on the housing ladder.?
Waste plastic is increasingly viable as a buil
material. Colombian architect Oscar Mendez has
building housing in Bogota from
while a hospital in Newport is recyclin
hospital bed sheets into sterile building
�4 a month by reducin the waste se
So rubbish housin
us? cabin could be an
afordable future for
nd solve the problem
of plastic waste.
Photo: Cascade
s: Steven MacKenzie @stevenmackenzie
LOGGING-ON: plastic
destined for landfill is recycled
to look like wooden logs
TURN UP THE
stove plus solar an
Angus has tiny fuel
CABIN FEVER: Angus with
his pioneering eco-home
od-burning
mean
xxx
Fantastic Beast Dan Stevens
and Emma Watson?s Belle
write a new chapter for Disney
THE BIG ISSUE / p20 / March 13-19 2017
COVER FEATURE
?If you can get
somebody to read
one book they
otherwise wouldn?t
have read, you will
change them?
Beauty, the Beast and the magic of books weave a
unique spell in Disney?s new live-action fairytale.
Emma Watson and Dan Stevens tell Adrian Lobb
about their life-long passion for libraries ? and why
they?re backing The Big Issue?s literacy campaign
Photo: Rex Features
?I
love The Big Issue,? says Dan Stevens.
There are worse things to hear as you enter a room to
interview the stars of the year?s biggest movie musical.
Before the interview is complete, Stevens and co-star
Emma Watson will be engrossed in reading a recent issue
and backing our literacy campaign.
The pair clearly have a great deal in common, besides a fine taste in
magazines. Both are voracious readers, as well as celebrated actors.
Watson leads global feminist bookclub Our Shared Shelf, is an
increasingly vocal activist and found time in recent years to squeeze in
an English degree around her acting career. Stevens, meanwhile, is
editor-at-large of literary quarterly The Junket and a former Man Booker
Prize judge. So it wouldn?t be much of a stretch for them to play a pair of
bookworms in Beauty and the Beast?
?Not really,? they reply in unison. Watson continues: ?It is funny. I decided
whilst watching the original as a little girl and particularly again watching
our version: I don?t want an engagement ring, I just want someone to build
me a library like the one in Beauty and the Beast. That is all I want.?
?My wife once built me a bookcase,? chips in Stevens. ?It is probably the
most romantic thing anyone has ever done for me.?
COVER FEATURE
?That is so awesome,? Watson says, ?no wonder you
married her! She?s clearly a legend.?
Watson and Stevens show no signs of being daunted
by remaking and reimagining Disney?s classic 1991
animation Beauty and the Beast as an all-singing,
all-dancing, thoroughly modern, technologically
astonishing live-action musical that is also socially
progressive ? the flirtation between LeFou (Josh Gad)
and Gaston (Luke Evans), and what director Bill
Condon called an ?exclusively gay moment?, has led
to calls for it to be banned in Russia for breaking
national laws against ?gay propaganda?.
For Stevens, being digitally recreated as a beastly
monster was a leap into the unknown, a sign technology is catching up with film-makers? imaginations.
?This kind of technology has not really been used that
extensively before, and certainly not for a romantic
lead role with singing,? says the 34-year-old former
Downton Abbey favourite. ?It has been used for creatures in other films but the technology has evolved to
the extent that Mark Rylance can now play the BFG
and you get the sensitivity through the face; big movie
musicals can now embrace it, and this is a big movie
musical, an homage to those big old-time musicals.?
Stevens recalls the months of training required to
shoot the film?s iconic waltz. ?We knew it was a crucial
part of the story, and Emma and I trained for about
three or four months learning that waltz. First on the
ground, then I graduated to the stilts! Waltzing in stilts
is not something many people have done ? so, yeah,
I ticked a lot of boxes on this one, in terms of firsts!?
They say that Ginger Rogers did everything
Fred Astaire did but backwards and in heels?
?Yes. Emma was backwards in heels, I was in stilts!?
Why Emma and Dan are
backing The Big Issue?s
literacy campaign
When we tell the stars about our Better Literacy, Better Lives campaign they
couldn?t be more enthusiastic. ?Fantastic! Could I get behind it?? says Stevens.
?It is a big concern. You look throughout history ? the things that terrible regimes
have targeted first are very often nurseries and libraries. The first things to go.
?Libraries are certainly where I grew up,? he continues. ?The magic of the
library. They don?t have to be as gorgeous as Beast?s ? ours is this kind of
ridiculous fantasy library. It was really mad. That set was really one of our
favourites, I think. It was so beautifully designed. All those globes. It was
gorgeous. But any library, really, or even a bookshelf gets me really excited.?
Watson explains her life-long love for libraries: ?Whilst watching the
original Beauty and the Beast as a little girl, and particularly again watching
our version, I decided: I don?t want an engagement ring, I just
want someone to build me a library like the one in Beauty and
the Beast. That is all I want.?
She adds: ?If you have a book with you, then you always
have a friend ? or you have someone who understands you,
or you have somewhere to escape to or a place to go for
comfort. It challenges you to think diferently. It keeps you up
at night. The best books are the ones where you can?t sleep.?
This is why, when presented with copies of our
literacy campaign launch issue, they are delighted.
Watson: ?Oh, that is so beautiful. Thank you so much.?
Stevens: ?Can we keep these??
Be our guest?
Belle of the ball: Watson
faced down critics after her
Vanity Fair photo shoot furore
Both are keen to expand on the meanings they
wanted to tease out of the timeless story,
to reinterpret it so it can be rediscovered by a new
generation. ?We talked about how, in many ways,
Belle and Beast, I see as one person,? Watson says.
?They are metaphors for diferent parts of ourselves,
and how we become whole by falling in love. I think
that is why the ?lm is so potent, and why it strikes
people on a really deep level ? because it does carry
those themes. We talked about it a lot!?
?Emma thinks about big ideas,? says Stevens.
?She thinks on a very big scale, and I really like that.
If you engage on that scale, you can aford all the fun
and the dancing and the fantasy elements. You earn
that because you are rooting it in something. We really
worked on it ? where do we see these characters on
the spectrum of masculinity and femininity? It was
a fascinating thought project as well as a physical
project. We really bonded over the love of the story
and the ideas behind it.
?There are a few elements that are updated without
being too arch about it,? he adds. ?It refreshes the tale
and just carries it forwards. We are not saying we
are making the last version that
will ever be made. I?m sure my kids?
generation will do another one.?
The 1991 version of the story
was proclaimed a game-changer,
featuring perhaps Disney?s first
feminist fairytale heroine. For Watson,
it was vital that her live-action version
went further ? acknowledging that
times have changed in the intervening
quarter-century. This time, I suggest,
xxx
A ?ne bromance
Luke Evans? Gaston and Josh Gad as sidekick LeFou have upset
Russia, where MPs are threatening to ban Beauty and the Beast
because of gay undertones. We join the love-in?
Josh Gad: Our chemistry was immediate.
Luke Evans: How can you not get on with someone like this?
JG: There are people. You talk to my wife. No, Luke is so incredibly
talented that it was just fun to play alongside. Not only to act but to
sing and dance opposite this masterpiece is pretty incredible.
LE: I had never done comedy before this and I was very nervous
because a lot of it relies on timing. And Josh is a master of timing.
He is very generous, he set most of my funniest moments up,
which allows me to have the laugh.
JG: The big tavern scene was a process. We got there a month
early and jumped into it. You are in a set that is straight out
of your childhood.
LE: When you are lucky enough to be part of what is already
a very much loved story, it is a real joy. We are part of that for
a new generation. It is a lovely thing.
Belle not only has agency, she?s a fully fledged
community activist, flying in the face of an oppressive,
small-minded, provincial town.
?She is, 100 per cent,? agrees the 26-year-old,
who shot to fame as Hermione Granger in the
Harry Potter films. ?It was something I saw in
the original but I really wanted to make sure it
came out in our version ? which was that she is
an activist in her community.
?And it is tiring going against the grain.
It is not easy not going along with the status
quo,? she continues, perhaps referencing
the flak she receives online and in the press
whenever she marches, campaigns, gives
speeches ? and most recently for her appearance
in Vanity Fair. ?I really wanted there to be those
scenes where you see her pushing the envelope a
little bit but you also see her getting quite a lot of stick,
quite a lot of kick-back.?
One line that stands out in the film is when Belle
visits her local library early in the film. ?Your library
makes a small corner of the world feel big,? she tells
the librarian. Not surprisingly, it is a sentiment Watson
can relate to. ?If you have a book with you, then you
always have a friend ? or you have someone who
understands you, or you have somewhere to escape
to or a place to go for comfort,? she says. ?It challenges you to think diferently. It keeps you up at night.
The best books are the ones where you can?t sleep.?
Stevens is similarly positive. ?Stories are vital.
Fairytales are vital. This is a classic and it has endured
so long because it has so many great things to say.
And I think every generation that comes to it ?nds
something a little bit diferent. Yes, it is about looking
beyond the surface but it is also about a lot of other
things ? the value of self-education, the value of
curiosity and imagination. All of these things that
I think are crucial lessons.?
And a ?lm in which the bookish loner wins out
over a muscle-bound imbecile? That can give hope
to many of us.
?I love bookish loners,? grins Stevens. ?They are
what make the world keep going, really. I suppose
I was one. And I think Emma can relate as well.
She is certainly bookish.
?We looked at the screwball comedy dynamic.
How people meet toe-to-toe over something
they are passionate about.
?It is not about dominating somebody with
romance ? Gaston being all, ?I?ve given you ?owers,
why won?t you marry me??. Instead, it is more subtle.
If you can get somebody to read one book they
otherwise wouldn?t have read, you will change
them a little bit. Their brain will be tickled in a
diferent way.?
Beauty and the Beast is in cinemas from March 17
@adey70
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
IN OUR CAMPAIGN?
Join Emma and Dan! Read more
about our Better Literacy, Better Livess
campaign and how you can help save
libraries at� bigissue.com
THE BIG ISSUE / p23 / March 13-19 2017
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Illustration: Getty
ENERGY
POWER TO
THE PEOPLE
Gigha residents made history
when they bought the island
15 years ago. Now they are
seizing another opportunity
? taking control of their
future with a community
energy scheme.
Words: Jenny McBain
Island view: Gigha lies of the Kintyre coast
G
oing for a walk on a Scottish
island often involves battling
with the wind. But the residents of Gigha now have
reason to celebrate when a
brisk breeze blows. In fact, by taking a short
walk up a hill they get a sense of how their
community-owned turbines are harnessing
the power of the wind to make money for
local projects. A four-foot plinth with illuminated yellow digits spells out the money
being made with each turn of the blades.
And the rewards are quite considerable.
Fergus Waters is CEO of Gigha Heritage
Trust. ?Since the residents of Gigha
purchased the island 15 years ago, we have
benefited from a sense of self-determination,? he says. ?We are no longer exposed
to the fickle nature of markets or the whims
of an individual landowner. The wind farm
brings money directly into the community
and allows us to invest in our future.?
So far Gigha has spent money building
new homes and improving housing stock.
The population has grown from 90 people
to around 170. So the school is thriving and
local people are able to pull together to run
a farm, a shop and a hotel.
Throughout Scotland there are around
500 schemes that generate power and cash
for the good of locals, and it?s being done in
ever more imaginative ways. Ian Garman
is innovations officer for Community
THE BIG ISSUE / p25 / March 13-19 2017
Energy Scotland (CES) and has a vision for
the Orkney island of Eday.
?Energy is generated from the community-owned wind turbine and then some of
it is used to extract hydrogen from water,?
he says. ?The hydrogen is presently shipped
to Kirkwall harbour on mainland Orkney
but I look forward to the day when Eday
is served by a ferry fuelled entirely by
hydrogen. Then the ship could simply fill up
on fuel when she puts into port.?
CES has a simple aim. Garman says: ?We
help communities to find ways to generate
income through energy generation and to
find ways to reduce their energy outgoings.
For fragile rural communities, the money
allows people to stay in an area they might
otherwise have to leave, and it attracts
incomers who then keep schools viable.?
Getting these schemes of the ground
is no simple matter. In Applecross in the
northwest Highlands, a community hydro
scheme called Apple Juice ?nally came on
stream in December 2015 ? seven years after
the project was ?rst mooted.
There is no shortage of ideas about how
the income, expected to be around �,000
a year, could be spent but local development
oicer Alison Macleod sounds a note of
caution. ?We plan to create some sheltered
housing and to set up transport schemes
but we do not want to ?nd ourselves in the
position where the council or government
seizes it as an opportunity to walk away
from their responsibility,? she says.
Further up the coast in Ullapool, Tim
Gauntlett, chairmanof BroomPower,knows
all about the work involved in setting up a
local energy scheme.
He says: ?We needed to raise �0,000
in share issues by the end of August 2016,
and with just three weeks to go we still had
�0,000 to raise. The community put us
through hell and we only just made it.?
Getting the funds together was only
one of the challenges ? navigating through
reams of red tape tested their skills and
patience. Gauntlett says: ?We had to jump
through so many legal hoops in order to
achieve something that on paper appears
so simple.?
Things are changing on the community
energy front in Scotland, though. The
Scottish Government surpassed its target
and has now set a more ambitious one.
However, energy is not a devolved issue
and after Westminster axed feed-in tarifs,
people no longer receive cash just for
producing green power, though they can
still sell electricity to the grid.
One thing is clear ? the bene?ts these
schemes bring extend beyond the ?nancial.
Gauntlett puts it this way: ?One of the things
that we have demonstrated is that we can
organise ourselves and be persistent ? and
we can be relied upon to deliver what we
set out to deliver. And that is empowering
for everyone.?
OPTIMISM
T
he news seems to have gone crazy
solve wealth inequality, climate change and failing
these days.
public services inevitably mean regulations and taxes,
In the post-truth era it?s impossible
especially on businesses, have to increase. And any
to figure out who?s spying on who or
government that did so alone would see businesses
what?s the ?best deal for Britain?. What
and thousands of jobs move elsewhere. So no nation
might happen in an upcoming election?
wants to move ?rst.
That seems like another world! The blogosphere bulges
The obvious example is climate change. At the begwith analysis, swinging this way or that, but all that
inning of his term former chancellor George Osborne
happens is we become increasingly polarised and
announced: ?We?re not going to save the planet by
bewildered.
putting our country out of business.? Five years later,
One reality is right in our faces: life is getting tougher,
Donald Trump, referring to the Paris Agreement, read
and our economic, social, political and environmental
from the same script. Tackling massive worldwide
problems are getting worse. It?s diicult to ignore we
problems like the environment and tax havens requires
may be witnessing the failure of capitalism-embedded
increased global co-operation but with governments
democracy. Yet the key to our inability to make a
afraid to regulate, competition spreads, disempowerdiference is under our noses.
ing everyone, driving social justice
Driving nearly all today?s probor environmental sustainability
lems is the unending pursuit of
of the agenda.
?international competitiveness?.
This afects everything, includStaying competitive, we are told
ing democracy. Constrained by
? whether as individuals, compDGC to implementing only those
anies, cities or nations ? is the
policies which keep the nation
route to prosperity. But in our
competitive, both governance and
new book, The Simpol Solution, we
democracy are totally undershow that the reverse is the case.
mined; what?s left is what our
International competitiveness
book calls ?pseudo-democracy?.
turns out to be a vicious circle that
It hardly matters who you vote for
is slowly killing us. The need for
because whoever we elect has no
governments to keep economies
choice but to keep the nation interinternationally competitive
nationally competitive. Every
prevents them from solving many
party is forced, in efect, to become
global and national problems,
the business-as-usual party. Little
from climate change to wealth
wonder that throughout Britain,
inequality. We call this DGC ?
the US and Europe political
Destructive Global Competition.
parties are in turmoil: seeing little
Once this backdrop to our neardiference between them, voters
universal political impotence has
turn to apathy, cynicism or the
been acknowledged, everything
regressive politics of fear on ofer
from the populist far-right.
begins to add up. But DGC is so
taken for granted that we feel no
That?s why the Simpol Solution
need to name it ? like ?sh that
? ?simultaneous policy? ? urges
don?t identify water because they
citizens to take up a new crossare totally immersed in it.
party, policy-based democratic
strategy to use their votes
DGC represents the new gamecreatively to break the circle.
changing context we are all subject
to: globalisation is here to stay and
It introduces a deceptively simple,
runs on competitiveness. Worldbottom-up citizens? campaign
wide digital technology enables As protectionism threatens to close borders, designed to break the stranglehold
movement of capital that respects
of DGC. Simpol is an ingenious
no borders; corporations set up we can lead big change from the bottom up, means of applying efective elecsay John Bunzl and Nick Duffell
anywhere and bully governments
toral pressure through which
for the best deal; even if we imagine
voters can drive politicians to
we can control it, labour migrates to where work is.
implement co-operative global solutions. It is visionary
Under the neo-liberal agenda and its ?xer ? the markets
but pragmatic: win-win solutions are part of the design
? wages continue to decrease, inequality is rampant
structure, ensuring no nation loses out without adeqand social welfare unafordable. Corporations and
uate compensation. The Simpol campaign is already
wealthy individuals who know how to surf this wave
in early operation and supported by thought-leaders
thrive, whilst the many losers under globalisation
and a growing number of politicians around the world.
angrily vote for a politics of fear and blame, vainly
But achieving such a transformation ?rst means
hoping to bring back the good old days.
changing the way we think about our world. The Simpol
It?s tempting to conclude that governments are full
Solution takes readers on a personal journey through
of corrupt people or idiots that don?t want to tackle the
the psychological obstacles to new thinking and
big issues. But the reality is that DGC means that
describes the human processes necessary. Finally it
they can?t. It has rendered them impotent. Capital and
reveals an evolutionary pathway to change. By aligning
The Simpol Solution
investment are the cornerstones of healthy economies,
with this process we can move our perspectives and
by John Bunzl and
and since they move freely and globally wherever they
values from their present nation-centric level, which
make the highest ?nancial return, governments must Nick Dufell is out now blinds them to solutions like Simpol, to a world-centric
compete to attract them. But the policies needed to (Peter Owen, �.99) level, at which they become second nature.
Illustration: Getty
SOLVING THE
WORLD?S
PROBLEMS?
IT?S SIMPOL
THE BIG ISSUE / p27 / March 13-19 2017
WHAT
BRUCIE
TAUGHT
ME
H
arry Hill learned from the best.
?Years ago I met up with Bruce
Forsyth and we were chatting,?
Hill recalls. ?One of the pieces of
advice he gave me was [slipping into
a perfect Brucie impression], ?Don?t go on other
people?s shows ? do your own shows?.?
This explains why Hill has never been seen making
up the numbers on Have I Got News for You/Mock the
Week/QI/Would I Lie to You?/8 Out of 10 Cats or any
other panel show. ?I?m not really comparing myself
[to Brucie] but unless you?re desperate for fame and
fortune? I?m not desperately in need of money at
the moment. When you see me on one of these panel
shows you?ll know that I?ve gambled it all on a horse.?
So instead of appearing on a panel show, Hill is
launching his own ? Harry Hill?s Alien Fun Capsule.
?It?s my attempt at a panel show,? Hill corrects.
?My view is they?re often not about the game, more
the funny things that happen. So I came up with this
rather thin format idea: I?ve been asked by the world?s
governments to collect all the funniest stuf so if
aliens invade I?ll be able to show them this stuf and
say, look, we?re really good fun to hang out with, don?t
kill us. It?s a weird hybrid of TV Burp and a panel
show. I used to take the piss out of the shows, now
what I?m doing is taking the piss out of the people
in the shows, in front of the people in the shows.?
The guests on the programme are, Hill explains,
?a mix of what you might call celebrities, the odd
soap star, actor or presenter, also some of my
favourite comedians. I ?gured it would make it
easy for me to have other funny people on.?
In fact Hill?s original idea was to name the
THE BIG ISSUE / p28 / March 13-19 2017
Photo: Rex Features
Bruce Forsyth told
d
Harry Hill to avoid
d panel
shows. He did. So why
has he changed hiis mind?
Interview: Steven MacKenzie
INTERVIEW: HARRY HILL
programme ?Is This Funny??. ?Everyone said to me
? you can?t call a show Is This Funny? because the
critics will just say, NO! But I quite like leading
with my chin.?
But if we were to take the premise seriously ?
and stranger things have happened in the world
of politics ? does Alien Fun Capsule make a good
case for saving the human race? ?If you wanted to
be serious about it, one very positive thing about
human beings is a sense of humour; sense of fun.?
Is that what defines us and sets us apart from
the animals?
?That?s probably a bit deep for me,? he says.
?You forget, I?m a very superficial person. But I think
in dark times it?s good to have a laugh. We like to
define ourselves in Britain ? perhaps wrongly, I don?t
know ? as being able to laugh through adversity. The
only slight drawback is there isn?t actually a capsule.
I press a button but really it doesn?t go anywhere.?
Besides the fictional capsule, Hill goes on to
explain that panel shows are not all they seem.
?These panel shows take hours to record because
it?s like a fishing expedition,? he says. ?There are long
bits where nobody says anything funny then they
get the bit that they want. The first few did take
about two-and-a-half hours. You need to let the
guests talk but then I realised we were editing out
what other people were saying and sticking to the
script. From then on I started driving it a bit more.
We give everyone a chance but we?re not going to
hang around all night.?
Harry Hill?s Alien Fun Capsule airs Thursdays, 8.30pm, ITV
@stevenmackenzie
THE BIG ISSUE / p29 / March 13-19 2017
THE
ENLIGHTENMENT
B O O K S / F I L M / T V/ M U S I C
EXHIBITION
A CUT ABOVE
From his knobbly rhinoceros
to apocalyptic horsemen
riding forth in the jaws of
Armageddon, Albrecht D黵er
is the master of woodcut. His
rather less doom-laden scene
pictured here, Repose on the
Flight into Egypt (1504), takes a
starring role in a new exhibition
titled The Woodcut: From
D黵er to Now.
X Pallant House Gallery,
Chichester, until
June 25; pallant.org.uk
THE BIG ISSUE / p31 / March 13-19 2017
BOOKS
A life-saving termination
Meredith Wadman examines how a 1960s abortion still protects millions from killer diseases
A
n abortion that led to vacc- a single human foetus with healthy parents descended on the United Kingdom. In 1963
ines that have protected would provide a much-preferable altern- in Britain, and during the US epidemic that
hundreds of millions of ative to monkey cells for making vaccines soon followed, tens of thousands of babies
were born blind, deaf, with undersized
people? The long-buried against viral diseases.
On a drizzly June day in 1962, Hay?ick heads and intellectual disabilities, and with
story, flagged in a letter
to the editors of Science took the lungs of Mrs X?s foetus and used malformed hearts ? or with some combinmagazine in 2012, seemed to shout out to two scalpels to cut them into innumerable, ation of these disabilities, and others.
me. I sought out the letter-writer, Leonard matchhead-sized pieces. Several lab-dish
There was no vaccine, and the public
Hayflick, a vigorous, 80-something biolo- steps later, Hay?ick had created the WI-38 pressure on scientists became intense.
gist living in northern California, and he cell line: a replicating group of normal At the Wistar Institute, a 32-year-old
told me the amazing tale of the cells that human cells that, unlike other human cells paediatrician named Stanley Plotkin set
he derived from an aborted foetus in 1962. then grown in the lab, did not become about making a vaccine, capturing the
I soon discovered that the story was full of cancerous. Hay?ick froze some 800 tiny rubella virus from the aborted foetus of a
stranger-than-fiction characters and ampules of WI-38, each containing several woman who had rubella early in her pregevents: strong-headed, larger-than-life million cells. For practical purposes, the nancy, and growing it in Hayflick?s WI-38
scientists, orphans and archbishops, court supply he had created was almost in?nite. cells. Why and how his safe, effective
battles and cell ?kidnappings? ? and dire,
Hay?ick next contacted the Swedish vaccine, now used nearly everywhere, did
once-dominant diseases that have since lab that had procured the lungs for him. A not come to market in the United States
been quelled by vaccines.
vaccine scientist there went back to Mrs X until 1979 is a story of pure politics.
Politics, too, infected the fight over
It all began with an anonymous Swedish and her physician to ascertain that Mrs X
woman, whom I call Mrs X. Married to a and her family were free of infectious dis- ownership of the WI-38 cells that ensued
feckless husband, she had several children eases and cancer, making the WI-38 cells between Hayflick, Koprowski and the
already. She decided she could not face acceptable to companies and regulators.
National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Hay?ick?s timing could not have been Hayflick had been working on an NIH
having another baby. In Sweden in 1962,
abortion was legal but not readily available. better. As he launched the WI-38 cells, contract when he derived the cells. It
Most doctors refused to ofer the procedure. an epidemic of foetus-attacking rubella stipulated that title passed to the government agency when the contract
By the time she found a sympathetic, female gynaecologist,
was terminated. That happened
Mrs X was four months pregnant.
in 1968, when Hayflick took a
After the abortion, her
better job at Stanford University
eight-inch-long, female foetus
in California. He had been told
was taken without her knowby NIH that he could keep 10 of
ledge and its lungs dissected at
the remaining 375 ampules of
the famous Karolinska Institute
WI-38. Instead, he packed the
in Stockholm. The tiny purplish
entire stock in a liquid nitrogen
organs were packed on ice and
refrigerator, strapped it into the
?own to Dr Leonard Hay?ick at
backseat of the four-door family
The Wistar Institute of Anatomy
sedan alongside his children and
and Biology in Philadelphia.
decamped for California, via the
Hayflick?s brilliant, visionary
Grand Canyon. Investigations
and ruthless boss was the
and lawsuits ensued.
polio vaccine pioneer Hilary
In the meantime, WI-38, and
Koprowski, a Polish 閙igr� who
a British ?copycat? cell line,
had recently turned the onceMRC-5, developed in the cells of
dying institute into an interna- Dr Leonard Hayflick, above, created WI-38 out of cells taken from an aborted foetus in 1962 a foetus aborted in 1966, have
tional crossroads of top biologists.
been used ? and are still used ? to
In the urbane Koprowski?s eyes, the
make vaccines against measles, polio,
young Hayflick was a mere supporting
hepatitis A, adenovirus, rabies, chickenpox,
actor. But the crew-cutted, working-class
shingles and, of course, rubella. All told,
Philadelphian had other ideas. In the
more than six billion doses of vaccines
summer of 1962, he was keenly aware
have been made in the two cell lines.
that silent monkey viruses had been found
The lives saved, thanks to
in the monkey kidney cells used to grow
these two aborted foetuses, are
the famous Salk and Sabin polio vaccines.
impossible to calculate.
One of these, SV-40, had recently been
shown to cause lethal cancers in laboratory hamsters. Regulators were trying to
The Vaccine Race by Meredith
Wadman is out now in hardback
downplay the news but Hayflick was
(Doubleday, �)
persuaded that normal, healthy cells from
?More than six
billion vaccines
have been made.
The lives saved,
thanks to these
aborted foetuses,
are impossible
to calculate?
THE BIG ISSUE / p32 / March 13-19 2017
REVIEWS
TOP 5 MUSIC
BOOKS
ANDREW
GREIG
THE ACCUSATION / MISCHLING
Heart of darkness
Illuminating the most unlikely of settings: North Korea and Auschwitz
2. TRANSFORMER: THE
COMPLETE LOU REED
STORY Victor Bockris
A dark, troubled book about
a diicult, hugely talented
man who made fantastic music
and survived against the odds
to end up something like
happy ? what?s not to like?
3. THE BEATLES
TUNE IN Mark Lewisohn
The ultimate anorak?s
friend, especially ?ne on
the boys? childhood and
adolescence that forged their
group loyalty, their musical
development, and their
fantastic good fortune in Brian
Epstein and George Martin.
4. BE GLAD: AN
INCREDIBLE STRING
BAND COMPENDIUM
Edited by
Adrian Whittaker
I love this for the over?owing
enthusiasm and insight of its
many contributors. This is a
well-orchestrated fan-book,
and an invaluable source of
detail and timelines when my
co-author Mike and I were
writing our joint memoirs.
5. CHRONICLES
Bob Dylan
The real-deal music
autobiography ? a
fascinating series of scenes
and moments from the life
and art of the crucial singersongwriter of our times, who
insists he is an ordinary man yet
seems more and more strange.
You Know What You Could
Be by Mike Heron and
Andrew Greig is out
April 6 (Riverrun, �)
W
e became used to
the slow, steady
flow of dissident
literature from
behind the curtain in the 20th
century, though the thrill
of reading Bulgakov or
Solzhenitsyn has never quite
stilled. These days, however,
there are few places on the
planet the West doesn?t have a
handle on. The exception, of
course, is North Korea ? a
country of such mystery it has
the allure of the moon.
There have been hidden
cameras and documentaries,
with images of uniformed, wellbehaved citizens performing
group rituals ? marching, exercising and chanting. Thus, the
North Korean people have been
construed as almost comical
figures; slavish lemmings
without curiosity, sophistication or angst. The Accusation
? a collection of short stories
written by an anonymous native
who remains living inside its
borders ? tells a diferent tale.
Its simple domestic dramas set
in the oices, kitchens and bedrooms of North Korea bring us
the real stuf of human life; the
romances, family crises, ?nancial worries and workplace
rivalries of people living in a
police state. And guess what?
They?re just like us. If we were
scared all the time.
The author of The Accusation
calls himself ?Bandi?, a Korean
word meaning ?re?y; a light
that shines in the dark. We know
little about him other than he
was born in 1950 and still lives
in North Korea with his wife and
children. Towards the end of the
lunatic regime of Kim Il-Sung
(these stories date from 1989 ?
1993; Il-Sung died in 1994) he
began to write frankly about the
horror of daily life for those who
cower in the shadow of a paranoid megalomaniac dictator
who keeps the door to the rest
of the world ?rmly shut. Bandi?s
?ction was eventually smuggled
out to South Korea and is now to
be published in 17 languages,
Illustration: Dom McKenzie
1. REVOLUTION
IN THE HEAD
Ian MacDonald
By miles the ?nest book
about The Beatles? music,
with a brilliant grasp of context
and the times as it goes
through every recording in
chronological order, with wit,
judgement and insight.
with more territories bidding
every month. One hopes he is
dancing with glee.
What?s especially satisfying
about this collection is that its
worth goes well beyond the
political or historical. Without
melodrama or hyperbole, Bandi
places us in a parallel universe
of oppressive ritual, militarystyle code words and bizarre
restrictions ? in which the
nightmares of two-year-olds
may be deemed suspect and
unpatriotic, permits for short
journeys regularly go missing
or are refused outright, and
failure to hang state-provided
net curtains (thus spoiling the
uniform look of a building) is
an audacious ofence. Against
this societal backdrop, which
reads like an Orwellian dystopia (written before they were
The Accusation Bandi
(translated by Deborah Smith)
Serpent?s Tail, �.99
Mischling Ainity Konar
Atlantic Books, �.99
THE BIG ISSUE / p33 / March 13-19 2017
all the rage), he tears at the
heart with simple illustrations
of the tenderness between
husband and wife, parent and
child, and a people who gaze at
the larks swooping and soaring
above them and marvel at
their freedom.
Ainity Konar?s Mischling
is an equally remarkable
achievement. In terms of
subject matter ? it focuses on
12-year-old Pearl and Stasha,
Jewish twin sisters who are
ex per imented upon in
Auschwitz ? it has an obvious
ainity with The Accusation.
In tone and language, however,
it is quite diferent ? lyrical and
poetic, it almost reads like a
fairytale at times, albeit of the
darkest, most terrible kind.
It remains a bold move, to
tackle the Holocaust through
imaginative ?ction with transcendent moments of magic and
beauty; in this it is reminiscent
of Roberto Benigni?s controversial Life is Beautiful. Some may
recoil. But for me, as an examination of sufering and recovery,
and the taunts and comforts of
memory, this book is a resounding, deeply moving, success.
Jane Graham @janeannie
social housing,
not social cleansing.
Lung presents
e15
悙悙�
Exeunt
悙悙
The Guardian
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悙悙�
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Yes, I brought down the
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FILM
THE SALESMAN
Shattering
Oscar-winning Iranian drama about cracks in a relationship
I
n The Salesman, the new ?lm from and Rana must look for a new place to live.
Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, a The couple are amateur actors and have
Tehran apartment block is hit by lead roles in a production of Arthur Miller?s
violent tremors. We?re in the spacious Death of a Salesman. A member of their
interior of an upper-?oor property as the troupe is a landlord with a flat to rent.
building begins to shake. It?s night and the Decent accommodation is hard to come by
occupants evacuate their homes in a sleepy in Tehran, so Emad and Rana gratefully
daze. Window panes crack inexplicably and take up their friend?s ofer. But this new
the ageing mother of a bed-ridden man yells pad has history ? made clear from Emad
out to her neighbours in panic: this is a scene and Rana?s neighbours? disapproving referof mounting tension, brilliantly orches- ences to the previous tenant. She was, we
trated by Farhadi. So much so you may think learn, a prostitute. Not long after Emad and
these opening scenes might be the prelude Rana have moved in, one of these clients
to a disaster movie. In fact the
pays a visit, assuming the prevtremors are a one-of mishap,
ious tenant is still there. But it?s
Rana who is home, all alone and
the fault of careless construction workers. Nevertheless an
waiting for Emad to return.
awful feeling of catastrophe ?
When the buzzer sounds she
actual and imagined ? hangs
opens the door, thinking it?s him.
over the rest of the ?lm.
Farhadi stages the lead-up
The ?at belongs to a middleto this with ominous assurance:
class couple in their mid-30s:
there?s an uncanny sense of
Emad (Shahab Hosseini) and
dread to the sight of a front door
Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti). Elan: Stewart sparkles in
swinging ajar, to the sound of a
Like his breakthrough film the film Personal Shopper
shower starting to run. Rana is
A Separation, Farhadi probes the
brutally attacked by the unseen
shaky foundations in the marriage of a man, an event we learn about only through
seemingly happy couple: in the former ?lm its immediate aftermath when Emad
the trouble had been brewing a long time; returns to the ?at to ?nd it deserted, the
in this instance the central relationship bathroom stained with blood: his wife has
is rocked by a single shocking event. With been taken to hospital, sufering terrible
their apartment now deemed unsafe, Emad head wounds. Rana is profoundly damaged
THE BIG ISSUE / p35 / March 13-19 2017
by the attack, physically and mentally, and
Alidoosti gives a poignant performance of
awomancopingwithtrauma.Emadremains
outwardly stoic but as the ?lm progresses
he?s gripped by a desire for revenge.
I suppose you might call The Salesman a
thriller, with Emad consumed with amateur
sleuthing to locate his wife?s assailant. But,
through Hosseini?s subtly shaded performance, this obsession begins to feel increasingly self-serving. Is he playing detective to
repair his damaged male ego? And at what
cost? Is he neglecting his wife?
Revealing a forensic eye, Farhadi has
made an absorbing, psychologically acute
?lm about a relationship in slow-motion
crisis. The ?lm won him the Oscar for Best
Foreign Language ?lm this year, and the
director chose not to attend the ceremony
in protest against Trump?s Muslim ban.
What lends this decision piquancy is the
debt Farhadi?s ?lm owes to a robust tradition
of American stage naturalism, from Arthur
Miller onwards, and to US cinema?s best
thriller traditions (notably through the
in?uence of Hitchcock). Controversy aside
? I hope it boosts The Salesman?s prospects
? this is ?rst-rate, ?ercely intelligent cinema.
The Salesman is in cinemas from March 17
FINAL REEL...
In Personal Shopper Kristen Stewart plays a
woman adrift in fashionable Paris, grieving for
her recently deceased twin brother. It?s a
spooky, richly strange drama, and the second
film she?s made for leading French film director
Olivier Assayas. Not only is Stewart one of
America?s biggest stars, she?s fast emerging
as one of French cinema?s brightest talents.
Words: Edward Lawrenson @EdwardLawrenson
TV
OUT AND ABOUT
SAM DELANEY?S NEWS THING
Faragegate: what a knight
O
n my TV show Sam Delaney?s
News Thing, each week we?re
joined by a panel of funny
pundits plus one special political guest.
Nigel Farage has appeared three
times. Some people criticise us for
having him on at all. So I thought I better
get tougher this time or I might stop
getting invited to rubbish dinner parties
where people sit round getting drunk
and crying about Donald Trump.
So I accused Farage of being a charlatan, told him he was stalking Trump
like a love-struck schoolboy and got
actor Alex Lowe to pose as an audience
member and ask baffling questions
about multiculturalism. Farage totally
fell for it. Once we had bewildered him,
we pressed the button on the big stunt.
We told him we were giving him an
honorary ?News Thing Knighthood? to
make up for the fact that he was never
going to get one in real life.
Wanting a knighthood is a childish,
pathetic aspiration. To subject yourself
to a preposterous ceremony ? kneel in
front of an old lady in a bejewelled hat
who taps you with a big sword and tells
you you?re special is no way for a selfrespecting adult to carry on. And if you
build your public persona on being
proudly ?anti-establishment? it is also
deeply hypocritical.
Rather than say all this, I decided
to make the point by hiring a child
actress to dress as the queen and knight
him with an inflatable sword.
We got our six-year-old actress to say:
?My mummy says you hate foreigners,?
after she finished knighting him. We
thought it would wrong-foot him a bit,
and didn?t want him thinking we
had forgotten the horribly xenophobic
undertones of his Brexit campaign.
We rehearsed using a Farage
stand-in, our actress practised her line
studiously. I explained I would act
surprised and call her naughty but it was
all just a joke. ?That?s okay,? she said.
?It?s all pretend.? Her parents were there
and endorsed the whole escapade.
The little queen played a blinder and
Nigel managed to chuckle the whole
thing of. Afterwards, he congratulated
the little girl on her performance, shook
my hand and looked like a man who?d
been ambushed but wasn?t too fussed.
In the resulting furore responses
ranged from hugely ?attering (?the best
thing ever!? Sarah Silverman told
her 10 million Twitter followers) to
hilariously confused (one claimed I
?indoctrinated and groomed a child?).
Other accusations were more
outlandish. My show airs on RTUK
(part-?nanced by the Russian state)
and some thought my juvenile prank
was a masterful propaganda strategy
devised by Putin himself. How my show
might be used to bring down the West,
one knob gag at a time, I?m not sure.
Frankly I?m flattered anyone might
think we?re that in?uential. I?m afraid
the humdrum truth is that I am not a
spy. But then I suppose, if I was, that?s
exactly what I would say.
Alright then, I am a spy.
But I?m not really.
Now we?ve got the world talking with
our irreverence, chutzpah and immaturity I expect ITV will be knocking
down the door, begging my team to save
The Nightly Show from ?zzling out in a
whimpering murmur of indiference.
Until then catch me on Sky Channel 512
Saturday nights at 10.25pm.
Words: Sam Delaney @DelaneyMan
THE BIG ISSUE / p36 / March 13-19 2017
BACK IN
THE USSR
A century on from the
Russian revolution, this
year will see a lot of
focus on the country
?爀specially with the
distinct relationship
forming between
Trump and Putin.
Imagine Moscow:
Architecture,
Propaganda,
Revolution
(March 15?June 4,
Kensington, London;
designmuseum.org)
reveals architectural
plans from the 1920s
and 1930s for an
idealised Moscow that
never came to fruition
last century. There?s
related propaganda
materials (including
Valentina Kulagina?s
1930 To the Defence
of the USSR poster,
above), ofering a
fascinating insight
into how Russia was
dreaming up its posttsar future.
From the Eastern
Front to Your East
End (March 18 & 19,
Docklands, London;
museumo?ondon.
org.uk), a celebration
of that quadrant
of the capital that
traditionally was within
earshot of Bow Bells
but is now muffled
slightly by the sound
of gentri?cation.
Find out more about
the traditions and
communities that have
shaped this resilient
part of London.
Hailing from the
East End (well,
Dagenham), Sara
Pascoe takes her
Animal (March 16,
Oxford; thenorthwall.
com) show on the
road. Based on her
book from last year
of the same name ?
that was part memoir
and part ideological/
evolutionary dissection
of the female
body and how it is
interpreted by women
themselves and
society as a whole ? it
does what all the best
MUSIC
ED SHEERAN / SLEAFORD MODS
Divide and
conquer
D
comedy can do and
utterly change your
perception and frames
of reference.
From gender identity
to the politics of
ethnicity, Shades
of Black (March
16?April 29, Oxford;
oldfirestation.org.
uk) sees artist Sonia
Latchford explore
through portraiture
the black body and
how it is presented
and understood.
She intentionally
plays on stereotypes
to challenge
preconceptions.
Carrying on the art
theme, this time
stretching back to the
1500s, Michelangelo
& Sebastiano (March
15?June 25, Trafalgar
Square, London;
nationalgallery.org.
uk) looks at the
connections between
two key figures of
the Renaissance
? Sebastiano
del Piombo and
Michelangelo ? and
how their relationship
and collaborations
unfolded. An insight
into the creative
process that has
genuflected before
the romantic ideal
of the artist as
isolated and
self-contained.
Finally, two
shows open on
the same day in
the same venue
so you can roll
them up together.
Jean Painlev�
(March 15?June
4, Birmingham;
ikon-gallery.org)
is the first British
exhibition by the
surrealist and
avant-garde artist
who first came to
prominence in the
1920s and whose
motifs included
octopi, seahorses
and starfish.
Oliver Beer
(March 15?June
4, Birmingham;
ikon-gallery.org)
showcases the latest
pieces by the British
artist whose work
explores ?negative
space? and the
balance between
occupied and
unoccupied spaces.
Eamonn Forde
espite what TV shows such as
The Secret Science of Pop might
suggest, there is no mysterious
formula nor hidden algorithm
for writing a hit. Slick production, shrewd
management and clever marketing have all
helped Ed Sheeran?s inexorable rise but
none of that would have counted for
anything if one ginger-haired English
market town boy with a three-quarter sized
acoustic guitar didn?t have a natural instinct
for penning cross-generationally relatable
pan-genre pop songs ? equal parts ify
rapping and sappy balladry ? with stream- Sitting pretty: Ed Sheeran is on top of the world with Divide
ing-statistics-up-the-backside abundance.
Sheeran?s third album Divide (or � as it?s everyman anthem What Do I Know? seems
styled) notched up a staggering 68.7 million to be a song in the time-honoured pop
Spotify plays on day one of its release, tradition of trying to take ownership of a
smashing The Weeknd?s record of 29 million popular idiom. It?s not science but neither
in a day for Starboy. This album was unstop- can Divide be mistaken for art.
pable before it even began. It?s the white
Just when you need an antidote to polite
bread cheese sandwich with the crusts sliced and cautiously apolitical music, along come
of of pop records: devoid of poetry, empty Sleaford Mods with 10th album English
of symbolism and phraseology
Tapas, their ?rst since switching
and melodies that haunt the
labels to Rough Trade. Having
memory. Yet, in a world where
broken through with 2013?s
mass audiences respond to
Austerity Dogs in the pits of
austerity Britain, an era that
uncomplicated, face-value fare,
almost feels quaint relative to
its artistic shortcomings are its
commercial strengths.
now, the Nottingham post-punk
Galway Girl uncovers
duo feel more vital than ever four
Sheeran?s talent to sometimes
years on with their savagely
be pure-brazen shameless. Modfathers: Andrew Fearn economical electronic loops over
Rejected by his label initially ? (left) and Jason Williamson which Jason Williamson spits
because a Gaelic rap song about
words of wit and righteous anger
dancing on a table with a game Irish girl in a thick East Midlands accent.
before heading back to hers to ??nish some
There?s anger at exactly the sort of subDoritos?, all set to a B*Witched-quality jects we can count on Sleaford Mods to be
jigging ?ddle tune, is clearly a squirmingly angry about ? ?we?re going down like B.H.S,?
awful idea ? Sheeran insisted it stayed on laments Williamson, using the store?s collthe record to appeal to the ?400 million apse as a metaphor for Brexit. They underpeople in the world who say they?re Irish?. stand the grubby social conditions and
It?s a song that?ll keep coming around again attendant nihilism that seems to be driving
with all the irritating semi-irony of people Britain towards a clif. ?Trip to Spar is like
who sink 16 pints of Guinness and adopt a a trip to Mars,? sings Williamson in a wibbly
fake Irish accent every St Patrick?s Day.
Martian voice to the sound of a checkout
Elsewhere on Sheeran?s global-markets scanner bleep on Drayton Mannered, a
savvy backpackers tour of world music, we sketch of home-drinking derelicts that
get the mildly Latin-spiced Eraser and, on would be hilarious if it weren?t also tragic.
the deluxe edition, the Afro-pop by numbers
Bibia Be Ye Ye. Jack Johnson-esque Words: Malcolm Jack @MBJack
THE BIG ISSUE / p37 / March 13-19 2017
ADVERTISING CLASSIFIED
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THE BIG ISSUE / p40 / March 13-19 2017
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COMPETITION
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WIN!
THE LIGHT BETWEEN
OCEANS BOOK AND DVD
DVD
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In unashamed five-hankie tearjerker The Light Between Oceans,
Michael Fassbender stars as Tom, a traumatised First World War
hero now working as a lighthouse keeper of the bleak but beautiful
Western Australia coast. When he and his wife Isabel (Alicia Vikander)
discover a baby adrift in a boat, they choose to raise it as their own.
However, as the years pass, this act of compassion will turn out to
have shattering consequences.
Based on ML Stedman?s debut novel and directed by Derek
Cianfrance (The Place Beyond the Pines), this tale of love and
sacri?ce is both stunningly romantic and heartbreakingly tragic.
The Light Between Oceans is available now on DVD, Blu-ray and
digital download. We have five sets of the book and the DVD
to be won, plus five copies of the DVD as runner-up prizes.
To be in with a chance of winning,
answer this question: What is the
name of Michael Fassbender?s
character in The Light Between
Oceans?
Still time to win?
INTENSE TRUE-LIFE DRAMA
CHRISTINE ON DVD
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THE BIG ISSUE / p44 / March 13-19 2017
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GAMES & PUZZLES
SUDOKU
SPOT THE BALL
A
B
C
D
There is just one simple rule
in sudoku: each row, column
and 3 x 3 box must contain
the numbers one to nine.
This is a logic puzzle and you
should not need to guess.
The solution will be revealed
next week.
ISSUE 1246 SOLUTION
F
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
To win London Overground by Iain Sinclair,
mark where you think the ball is, cut out and
send to: Spot the Ball (1247), second floor,
43 Bath St, Glasgow, G2 1HW, by March
21. Include your name, address and phone
number. Enter by email: send grid position
(e.g. A1) to competitions@bigissue.com.
8
9
10
(Last
week?s
Spot
the Ball
revealed:
Man Utd v
Brighton,
1983)
PRIZE CROSSWORD
QUICK CLUES
CRYPTIC CLUES
Across
2. Speaking about
the inclusion of a
vegetable (3)
5. It is careless to leave
the French out of a
gentle touch (6)
7. Bring up in the
New Forest (6)
9. Union for footballers
perhaps (11)
10. Grain that is maize (6)
11. Scandinavian article in
the shallow vessel (6)
13. Very minute form
of energy (6)
16. Archdeacon and I
take establishment
to Italian city (6)
18. Notice another ten,
only half heedfully (11)
19. Put one?s feet in the
water to push the
boat along (6)
20. Was quiet with Dan
performing ? swell (6)
21. Sorrowful attorneys
returning (3)
To win a Chambers Dictionary, send completed crosswords (either cryptic
or quick) to: The Big Issue Crossword (1247), second floor, 43 Bath Street,
Glasgow, G2 1HW by March 21. Include your name, address and phone
number. Issue 1245 winner is Jan Hart from Kingswear, Devon.
Down
1. Father to read
about show (6)
2. Mind girl who fell in
love with Cupid (6)
3. A loud incursion
made one scared (6)
4. One can obtain
an advantage in
this game (6)
6. Like emotional people,
can be transported
without diiculty (6,5)
8. Child?s revolver! (8,3)
10. Mother accepted
nothing from
the old bird (3)
12. Do some gardening
in Plymouth? (3)
14. Get a BA perhaps
for making a hot
drink! (3,3)
15. One is concerned
about tooth decay (6)
16. Saw we competed
outside (6)
17. Exclaiming it?s what
baby might be doing (6)
Across
2. African antelope (3)
5. Up-to-date
(dated slang) (6)
7. Platform (6)
9. Basic (11)
10. Give satisfaction (6)
11. Chastity (6)
13. Situated (6)
16. Purple (6)
18. Bedspread (11)
19. Court clown (6)
20. Cafeine in tea (6)
21. Lacking liquid (3)
Down
1. Sly (6)
2. Spin (6)
3. Cost of maintenance (6)
4. Food ?sh (6)
6. For no reason
whatsoever (2,2,7)
8. Become worse (11)
10. Liveliness (inf.) (3)
12. Thus far (3)
14. Ornamental case (6)
15. Weak old person (6)
16. Truth (6)
17. Stage instruction
to depart (6)
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
Issue 1246 solution
CRYPTIC: Across ? 1 Wagtail; 8 Useless; 9 Topical; 10 Lobelia; 11 Operate; 12 Decorum; 14 Noticed; 18 Inherit; 20 Misdeal; 21 Addenda; 22 Everest; 23 Element.
Down ? 1 Without number; 2 Gopher; 3 Accra; 4 Lulled; 5 Setback; 6 Seller; 7 As warm as toast; 13 Screwed; 15 Tossed; 16 Dilate; 17 France; 19 Hedge.
QUICK: Across ? 1 Lighten; 8 Undergo; 9 Yearned; 10 Grieved; 11 Onshore; 12 Drastic; 14 Topspin; 18 Israeli; 20 Elastic; 21 Kiloton; 22 Abusive; 23 Lexical.
Down ? 1 Lay down the law; 2 Grassy; 3 Tango; 4 Nudged; 5 Admiral; 6 Privet; 7 Coeducational; 13 Sputnik; 15 Plaque; 16 Nickel; 17 Hectic; 19 Relax.
THE BIG ISSUE / p45 / March 13-19 2017
Photos: Action Images
E
MY PITCH
Liam Harmer, 42
TESCO, SKETTY, SWANSEA
?I like having nice chats. I find myself giving
advice and passing on what I?ve learned?
FACTS ABOUT ME...
MY FAVOURITE BOOKS
Science fiction. I?ve loved
anything to do with other planets
and time travel since I was young,
and I still love reading Douglas
Adams, HG Wells, or Doctor
Who and Star Trek books.
IF I WON THE LOTTERY
I?d give most of it to charity
to help others. Then I?d do an
ancient history tour and see
the pyramids and some of the
temples in Central and South
America.
ON MY
PITCH?
I?m at Tesco on
Gower St in Sketty ,
Monday to Saturday,
10am-7pm
I
started selling the
magazine in Sketty in 2015.
After a false start I came
back to it in November of that
year and began to really make a
go of it. I had been struggling a
lot with my drinking problem.
I stayed at a � a night B&B
and started to figure things
out. Selling The Big Issue put
money in my pocket, helped
me clear debt I?d accumulated
and really helped me clear my
head. It?s done me a lot of good.
I?ve been sober for 11 months
and I?m determined not to go
back to square one.
I very recently got a council
flat, which has been a great
boost after being in the B&Bs
for so long. The Crisis charity is
going to help me furnish it, and
I?m hoping it won?t be diicult
to settle in there and make
a fresh start. I used to work
in restaurant kitchens but it
was very pressured ? not the
best environment when I had
a problem with alcohol. I?m
starting to think about doing
some voluntary work, about
seeing what kind of training
courses might be available,
and possibly using my sales
experience from The Big Issue
to see what opportunities
might be out there.
I like it in Sketty. I like
having nice chats with people.
It?s strange but I even ?nd
myself giving advice and
passing on what I?ve learned, if
other people are going through
a hard time. I?ve been going
to one of the local churches,
a very relaxed church, and
getting to know people. It?s
helped me a lot, singing songs
and praying. It?s given me a
new kind of strength.
I lost my mother when I was
very young, and I was adopted
THE BIG ISSUE / p46 / March 13-19 2017
when I was nine. Recently,
since I had some time to
re?ect, I thought it would be
nice to connect with family. I
went on myheritage.com and
discovered I had a cousin in
Wales. I got in touch with her
on Facebook and we?ve been
sending each other photos.
That?s been a very nice thing.
I?d like to try to work out some
more of the family tree.
If I have time I go for a walk
around Singleton Park or along
the coast. There are points
where you get amazing views
up to Swansea Bay or down to
Port Talbot. It?s nice to get a
chance to think. If I?ve learned
anything, it?s not to dwell on
what you don?t have. Don?t be
jealous of others, make the
most of what you?ve got.
Words: Adam Forrest
Photo: David Grifen
.
He is very generous, he set most of my funniest moments up,
which allows me to have the laugh.
JG: The big tavern scene was a process. We got there a month
early and jumped into it. You are in a set that is straight out
of your childhood.
LE: When you are lucky enough to be part of what is already
a very much loved story, it is a real joy. We are part of that for
a new generation. It is a lovely thing.
Belle not only has agency, she?s a fully fledged
community activist, flying in the face of an oppressive,
small-minded, provincial town.
?She is, 100 per cent,? agrees the 26-year-old,
who shot to fame as Hermione Granger in the
Harry Potter films. ?It was something I saw in
the original but I really wanted to make sure it
came out in our version ? which was that she is
an activist in her community.
?And it is tiring going against the grain.
It is not easy not going along with the status
quo,? she continues, perhaps referencing
the flak she receives online and in the press
whenever she marches, campaigns, gives
speeches ? and most recently for her appearance
in Vanity Fair. ?I really wanted there to be those
scenes where you see her pushing the envelope a
little bit but you also see her getting quite a lot of stick,
quite a lot of kick-back.?
One line that stands out in the film is when Belle
visits her local library early in the film. ?Your library
makes a small corner of the world feel big,? she tells
the librarian. Not surprisingly, it is a sentiment Watson
can relate to. ?If you have a book with you, then you
always have a friend ? or you have someone who
understands you, or you have somewhere to escape
to or a place to go for comfort,? she says. ?It challenges you to think diferently. It keeps you up at night.
The best books are the ones where you can?t sleep.?
Stevens is similarly positive. ?Stories are vital.
Fairytales are vital. This is a classic and it has endured
so long because it has so many great things to say.
And I think every generation that comes to it ?nds
something a little bit diferent. Yes, it is about looking
beyond the surface but it is also about a lot of other
things ? the value of self-education, the value of
curiosity and imagination. All of these things that
I think are crucial lessons.?
And a ?lm in which the bookish loner wins out
over a muscle-bound imbecile? That can give hope
to many of us.
?I love bookish loners,? grins Stevens. ?They are
what make the world keep going, really. I suppose
I was one. And I think Emma can relate as well.
She is certainly bookish.
?We looked at the screwball comedy dynamic.
How people meet toe-to-toe over something
they are passionate about.
?It is not about dominating somebody with
romance ? Gaston being all, ?I?ve given you ?owers,
why won?t you marry me??. Instead, it is more subtle.
If you can get somebody to read one book they
otherwise wouldn?t have read, you will change
them a little bit. Their brain will be tickled in a
diferent way.?
Beauty and the Beast is in cinemas from March 17
@adey70
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
IN OUR CAMPAIGN?
Join Emma and Dan! Read more
about our Better Literacy, Better Livess
campaign and how you can help save
libraries at� bigissue.com
THE BIG ISSUE / p23 / March 13-19 2017
A kettle,
cutlery,
a toaster.
A few simple things that help make
a home. And a big difference from
living on the street.
If you want to make a big difference
with a small donation, you could start
with a pen and a pair of scissors.
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Illustration: Getty
ENERGY
POWER TO
THE PEOPLE
Gigha residents made history
when they bought the island
15 years ago. Now they are
seizing another opportunity
? taking control of their
future with a community
energy scheme.
Words: Jenny McBain
Island view: Gigha lies of the Kintyre coast
G
oing for a walk on a Scottish
island often involves battling
with the wind. But the residents of Gigha now have
reason to celebrate when a
brisk breeze blows. In fact, by taking a short
walk up a hill they get a sense of how their
community-owned turbines are harnessing
the power of the wind to make money for
local projects. A four-foot plinth with illuminated yellow digits spells out the money
being made with each turn of the blades.
And the rewards are quite considerable.
Fergus Waters is CEO of Gigha Heritage
Trust. ?Since the residents of Gigha
purchased the island 15 years ago, we have
benefited from a sense of self-determination,? he says. ?We are no longer exposed
to the fickle nature of markets or the whims
of an individual landowner. The wind farm
brings money directly into the community
and allows us to invest in our future.?
So far Gigha has spent money building
new homes and improving housing stock.
The population has grown from 90 people
to around 170. So the school is thriving and
local people are able to pull together to run
a farm, a shop and a hotel.
Throughout Scotland there are around
500 schemes that generate power and cash
for the good of locals, and it?s being done in
ever more imaginative ways. Ian Garman
is innovations officer for Community
THE BIG ISSUE / p25 / March 13-19 2017
Energy Scotland (CES) and has a vision for
the Orkney island of Eday.
?Energy is generated from the community-owned wind turbine and then some of
it is used to extract hydrogen from water,?
he says. ?The hydrogen is presently shipped
to Kirkwall harbour on mainland Orkney
but I look forward to the day when Eday
is served by a ferry fuelled entirely by
hydrogen. Then the ship could simply fill up
on fuel when she puts into port.?
CES has a simple aim. Garman says: ?We
help communities to find ways to generate
income through energy generation and to
find ways to reduce their energy outgoings.
For fragile rural communities, the money
allows people to stay in an area they might
otherwise have to leave, and it attracts
incomers who then keep schools viable.?
Getting these schemes of the ground
is no simple matter. In Applecross in the
northwest Highlands, a community hydro
scheme called Apple Juice ?nally came on
stream in December 2015 ? seven years after
the project was ?rst mooted.
There is no shortage of ideas about how
the income, expected to be around �,000
a year, could be spent but local development
oicer Alison Macleod sounds a note of
caution. ?We plan to create some sheltered
housing and to set up transport schemes
but we do not want to ?nd ourselves in the
position where the council or government
seizes it as an opportunity to walk away
from their responsibility,? she says.
Further up the coast in Ullapool, Tim
Gauntlett, chairmanof BroomPower,knows
all about the work involved in setting up a
local energy scheme.
He says: ?We needed to raise �0,000
in share issues by the end of August 2016,
and with just three weeks to go we still had
�0,000 to raise. The community put us
through hell and we only just made it.?
Getting the funds together was only
one of the challenges ? navigating through
reams of red tape tested their skills and
patience. Gauntlett says: ?We had to jump
through so many legal hoops in order to
achieve something that on paper appears
so simple.?
Things are changing on the community
energy front in Scotland, though. The
Scottish Government surpassed its target
and has now set a more ambitious one.
However, energy is not a devolved issue
and after Westminster axed feed-in tarifs,
people no longer receive cash just for
producing green power, though they can
still sell electricity to the grid.
One thing is clear ? the bene?ts these
schemes bring extend beyond the ?nancial.
Gauntlett puts it this way: ?One of the things
that we have demonstrated is that we can
organise ourselves and be persistent ? and
we can be relied upon to deliver what we
set out to deliver. And that is empowering
for everyone.?
OPTIMISM
T
he news seems to have gone crazy
solve wealth inequality, climate change and failing
these days.
public services inevitably mean regulations and taxes,
In the post-truth era it?s impossible
especially on businesses, have to increase. And any
to figure out who?s spying on who or
government that did so alone would see businesses
what?s the ?best deal for Britain?. What
and thousands of jobs move elsewhere. So no nation
might happen in an upcoming election?
wants to move ?rst.
That seems like another world! The blogosphere bulges
The obvious example is climate change. At the begwith analysis, swinging this way or that, but all that
inning of his term former chancellor George Osborne
happens is we become increasingly polarised and
announced: ?We?re not going to save the planet by
bewildered.
putting our country out of business.? Five years later,
One reality is right in our faces: life is getting tougher,
Donald Trump, referring to the Paris Agreement, read
and our economic, social, political and environmental
from the same script. Tackling massive worldwide
problems are getting worse. It?s diicult to ignore we
problems like the environment and tax havens requires
may be witnessing the failure of capitalism-embedded
increased global co-operation but with governments
democracy. Yet the key to our inability to make a
afraid to regulate, competition spreads, disempowerdiference is under our noses.
ing everyone, driving social justice
Driving nearly all today?s probor environmental sustainability
lems is the unending pursuit of
of the agenda.
?international competitiveness?.
This afects everything, includStaying competitive, we are told
ing democracy. Constrained by
? whether as individuals, compDGC to implementing only those
anies, cities or nations ? is the
policies which keep the nation
route to prosperity. But in our
competitive, both governance and
new book, The Simpol Solution, we
democracy are totally undershow that the reverse is the case.
mined; what?s left is what our
International competitiveness
book calls ?pseudo-democracy?.
turns out to be a vicious circle that
It hardly matters who you vote for
is slowly killing us. The need for
because whoever we elect has no
governments to keep economies
choice but to keep the nation interinternationally competitive
nationally competitive. Every
prevents them from solving many
party is forced, in efect, to become
global and national problems,
the business-as-usual party. Little
from climate change to wealth
wonder that throughout Britain,
inequality. We call this DGC ?
the US and Europe political
Destructive Global Competition.
parties are in turmoil: seeing little
Once this backdrop to our neardiference between them, voters
universal political impotence has
turn to apathy, cynicism or the
been acknowledged, everything
regressive politics of fear on ofer
from the populist far-right.
begins to add up. But DGC is so
taken for granted that we feel no
That?s why the Simpol Solution
need to name it ? like ?sh that
? ?simultaneous policy? ? urges
don?t identify water because they
citizens to take up a new crossare totally immersed in it.
party, policy-based democratic
strategy to use their votes
DGC represents the new gamecreatively to break the circle.
changing context we are all subject
to: globalisation is here to stay and
It introduces a deceptively simple,
runs on competitiveness. Worldbottom-up citizens? campaign
wide digital technology enables As protectionism threatens to close borders, designed to break the stranglehold
movement of capital that respects
of DGC. Simpol is an ingenious
no borders; corporations set up we can lead big change from the bottom up, means of applying efective elecsay John Bunzl and Nick Duffell
anywhere and bully governments
toral pressure through which
for the best deal; even if we imagine
voters can drive politicians to
we can control it, labour migrates to where work is.
implement co-operative global solutions. It is visionary
Under the neo-liberal agenda and its ?xer ? the markets
but pragmatic: win-win solutions are part of the design
? wages continue to decrease, inequality is rampant
structure, ensuring no nation loses out without adeqand social welfare unafordable. Corporations and
uate compensation. The Simpol campaign is already
wealthy individuals who know how to surf this wave
in early operation and supported by thought-leaders
thrive, whilst the many losers under globalisation
and a growing number of politicians around the world.
angrily vote for a politics of fear and blame, vainly
But achieving such a transformation ?rst means
hoping to bring back the good old days.
changing the way we think about our world. The Simpol
It?s tempting to conclude that governments are full
Solution takes readers on a personal journey through
of corrupt people or idiots that don?t want to tackle the
the psychological obstacles to new thinking and
big issues. But the reality is that DGC means that
describes the human processes necessary. Finally it
they can?t. It has rendered them impotent. Capital and
reveals an evolutionary pathway to change. By aligning
The Simpol Solution
investment are the cornerstones of healthy economies,
with this process we can move our perspectives and
by John Bunzl and
and since they move freely and globally wherever they
values from their present nation-centric level, which
make the highest ?nancial return, governments must Nick Dufell is out now blinds them to solutions like Simpol, to a world-centric
compete to attract them. But the policies needed to (Peter Owen, �.99) level, at which they become second nature.
Illustration: Getty
SOLVING THE
WORLD?S
PROBLEMS?
IT?S SIMPOL
THE BIG ISSUE / p27 / March 13-19 2017
WHAT
BRUCIE
TAUGHT
ME
H
arry Hill learned from the best.
?Years ago I met up with Bruce
Forsyth and we were chatting,?
Hill recalls. ?One of the pieces of
advice he gave me was [slipping into
a perfect Brucie impression], ?Don?t go on other
people?s shows ? do your own shows?.?
This explains why Hill has never been seen making
up the numbers on Have I Got News for You/Mock the
Week/QI/Would I Lie to You?/8 Out of 10 Cats or any
other panel show. ?I?m not really comparing myself
[to Brucie] but unless you?re desperate for fame and
fortune? I?m not desperately in need of money at
the moment. When you see me on one of these panel
shows you?ll know that I?ve gambled it all on a horse.?
So instead of appearing on a panel show, Hill is
launching his own ? Harry Hill?s Alien Fun Capsule.
?It?s my attempt at a panel show,? Hill corrects.
?My view is they?re often not about the game, more
the funny things that happen. So I came up with this
rather thin format idea: I?ve been asked by the world?s
governments to collect all the funniest stuf so if
aliens invade I?ll be able to show them 
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